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How to Write an Essay About a Book

Lisa Smith Jun 6, 2019
The post deals with the question of how to write a literary essay. It gives ideas and important guidelines to people who need to analyze a book. The post aims at making it easy for such people to overcome any obstacle they may face, while writing their literary essay.
There are different types of essays, and writing each of them requires a different approach. When you have the assignment to write an essay about a book, you need to find a more artistic and creative note in your writing, to make it in accordance with what you analyze.
Writing an essay about a book isn’t hard if you know what you’re doing. There are several aspects of analyzing a piece of literature, and we’re going to break them down here.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can handle the task of writing a book analysis essay.

1. Introduction

Every essay needs an introduction, and so does an essay about a book. You need to open your essay with some general information about the book you’re analyzing:
  • Title
  • Author
  • Year it was written or published
  • What is the book about
For, example, you could start like this:
  • Robinson Crusoe is an epistolary, confessional travelogue written by Daniel Defoe, and first published in 1719.
Pay attention to how to write title of book in essay. It needs to be underlined and in italics.
You can follow the first sentence by telling what your essay is going to be about. Therefore, once you finish your introduction, you can move on to analyzing specific aspects of the book.

2. Characters' Analysis

One aspect of your literature analysis essay could be about the main characters. You’ll be expected to write the most important things you’ve noticed and learned about the characters, while you were reading the book in question.
A good character analysis deals with:
  • the main traits of the character
  • their transformation throughout the plot
  • the symbolism behind their actions
  • the conflicts they experience
You single out the main characters and analyze them one by one, also doing a compare and contrast analysis.

3. Symbolism

A book can be analyzed based on the symbolism of some of the characters, events, and pieces of story. This means you need to:
  • read the book carefully, with a proper understanding
  • write about the hidden meanings you discover
  • elaborate on what each of the things you’ve found, symbolizes.
You could try and present your interpretation of the writer’s intention and explain how you understood the main concepts.

4. Plot and Subplot

You can write an elaborate analysis of the main events that take place in the book. This means you’ll be analyzing:
  • The Plot - Main storyline of the book, in which leading characters take part.
  • The Subplot(s) - Back story alongside main plot, in which supporting characters take part.
Point out the main events in the plot and subplots, linking them together and bringing the story closer to the audience.

5. Conclusion

As for everything else you write, you need to write a conclusion for an essay about a book. Your conclusion basically needs to:
  • summarize the main points of the body of your essay
  • repeat what you’ve analyzed, briefly
  • make a clear statement about what you’ve learned or concluded
  • make a personal remark about the whole thing
In other words, tell them what you’ve told them, just briefly and in no more than three sentences.

Additional Thoughts

What happens if you need to write an essay about a book you haven't read? Well, you could do several things: If you haven’t read the book, you’ll definitely need some help. Luckily for you, you have options.

Final Thoughts

Writing an essay about a book is not hard at all. You can even write it without reading the book. Hopefully, you will get the guidance from this post for your next literary essay and next time, you’ll find it easier to finish the task.